What’s Going Around: Several infectious illnesses; bugs, biting, stinging, sending people to the hospital

The bugs are biting and stinging, sending many people to the doctor this week. Several infectious illnesses are also popping up in more significant numbers.

Here’s our weekly round-up of what illnesses are spreading the most in Metro Detroit communities, according to our local doctors and hospitals.

Wayne County -- Bee stings, infected bug bites, hand foot & mouth disease, seasonal allergies, asthma flare-ups, strep throat, COVID

Dr. Kevin Dazy -- Pediatrician, Children’s Hospital of Michigan

“We continue to see kids with croup and hand-foot-mouth symptoms of rash and mouth sores. Once hand-foot-mouth starts going around, we expect the numbers of kids with the virus to grow.  Right now, though, all thoughts are on back-to-school. Parents should be working on getting their kids updated on vaccines to ensure their children are protected against preventable disease. We see too many families who deal with these preventable diseases when their child is hospitalized or dealing with issues that were completely avoidable saying, ‘I wish I would have gotten those vaccinations.’ Now’s the time. "

Dr. Tiffany Widner -- Pediatrician, Children’s Hospital of Michigan

“We are seeing allergic reactions to bug bites, hand foot mouth, viral infections including viral URIs (cold symptoms) and contact dermatitis from environmental exposures (the name for rashes that can be associated with things like poison ivy, grasses, etc). We also are still seeing a lot of allergy and asthma complaints.  In terms of back to school, I would recommend that parents turn their school forms in to their physicians as soon as possible, if they haven’t done it already. Also keep in mind that we are unable to complete forms if the child hasn’t been seen in the past year. Parents should consider the COVID19 vaccine as numbers are creeping up, and children in school will be at risk for contracting the illness. Also, remember the flu vaccine will be coming out next month. And now is the time to start putting all of the children back on a regular sleep schedule prior to the start of school.”

Oakland County -- Bee stings, infected bug bites, summer rashes, hand foot and mouth disease, seasonal allergies, asthma flare-ups, COVID, ear infections

Dr. Steven McGraw -- Chair of Emergency Medicine, Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield Campus

“I’m still seeing LOTS of bee stings. Some are rather serious and if people are allergic, make certain to have epi-pens available. Bees and wasps get aggressive during this time of year. I’m seeing some patients with COVID-19. It’s still lower than before, but coming back.”

Dr. Jennifer Stevenson -- Division Head, Fairlane Emergency Department Senior Staff Physician Department of Emergency Medicine Henry Ford Hospital, Fairlane

“The number of strep cases continues to blow my mind! We’re also definitely seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Generally speaking, those who are younger without medical problems are faring well. We have seen an increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions in those with co-morbidities. In addition, there’s been some hand-foot-mouth in the community.  We’re also seeing a lot of allergic reactions.  I think the bees get a little feisty this time of year.  Those who are allergic should be sure to have their epi pens on hand!”

Sarah Rauner -- Pediatric nurse practitioner, Emergency Center, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Troy

“We are continuing to see some summer time rashes and bug bites that can become infected. Hand foot and mouth disease has made an appearance as well. Less vomiting and diarrhea lately however COVID has picked up a little bit. Keep washing your hands in preparation for the fall and school!”

Dr. Susan Bork -- Director of Operations, Emergency Center, Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

“We are seeing an uptick in gastroenteritis cases with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, as well as sore throats and hand, foot and mouth infections. There has been a slight increase in mild COVID cases and no major changes in allergies.”

Caroline Morris, PA-C -- Henry Ford-GoHealth Urgent Care Centers

Presently we are seeing an increase in flu-like symptoms that are neither the flu or COVID-19, but rather a really bad cold (rhinovirus). We are still seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases currently that seem to present with fatigue cough and sore throat. We’re also seeing a lot of sporting injuries that include dislocated fingers, wrist, hand, knee and ankle injuries.”

Dr. Rena Daiza -- Primary Care Physician, Henry Ford Medical Center Bloomfield Twp.

“With the weather changes this week, I am seeing a lot of allergies and asthma flares. Asthma can often overlap symptoms with upper respiratory illnesses, so people should be sure to test for respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. An upper respiratory illness should be suspected if usual remedies for asthma and allergies are not helping symptoms.”

Emergency Department at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

“I am seeing a lot of a lot of pain complaints (abdominal, flank and headache).  We have had some allergic reactions from bees and peanut butter allergies. Falls and shortness of breath are also some of the top complaints.”

Washtenaw County -- Sore throats, COVID, infected bug bites, summer rashes

Monroe County -- Stomach viruses, sore throats, pink eye, swimmer’s ear

Macomb County -- Bee stings, infected bug bites, poison ivy, seasonal allergies, eye infections, sore throats

Dr. Matthew Steck -- Emergency physician at McLaren Macomb

“There has been a noticeable increase in the prevalence of water incidents, including injuries and near-drowning, prompting the ER to urge extra caution when in and around water.  Across all ages and patient populations, various orthopedic and soft tissue injuries continue to be the most common reason to seek care in the emergency and trauma center.  Following a brief uptick in viral infections causing upper respiratory infections and a lingering cough, those cases have tapered off.  Though an increase in cases has been reported on, there has not been a significant increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 diagnoses. "

Livingston County -- Increase in rabies treatment due to bat exposures

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.